Cell Phone Spyware Detection | Mobile Phones Forensics
Force Majeure deals exclusively with eavesdropping spyware detection such as SpyPhone, and on the preparation of expert opinions for submission to the enforcement agencies and judicial authorities. We do not provide any attacking or hacking (Black-hat) services, and we do not install spyware or any other devices used for bugging or clandestine photography.
Mobile phone bugging or spying via spyware like SpyPhone has spread from the corporate sector to interpersonal feuds. It has come to blatantly, intrusively plague our privacy. It must be emphasized that our checks include discovery of spyware both from the world of personal espionage and from the world of industrial espionage.
If you suspect that bugging software has been installed on your mobile phone, contact us but never through a mobile phone, or even near a mobile phone you suspect as being bugged. The reason we take pains to stress so clearly that you should not contact us from the device itself or from near it is that in some cases we found that they were remotely formatted as soon as suspicion arose that the device was going to be handed in for inspection in our lab. As a consequence, it is likely that not only will incriminating evidence against the attacker be eliminated, but quite probably all of the data on the phone could be deleted.
Cellular spyware is available for downloading on legitimate Internet websites. In some cases, it is possible to install them without physically accessing the mobile device. Bugging software can also be remotely installed on a phone by sending a seemingly harmless message, and through many other means. This means that even a password-protected, fingerprint-protected phone with installed a security application, is exposed and vulnerable to installation of bugging software.
It is important to point out – various companies offer “spyware scan”. These companies install antivirus apps or run automatic scans with a malware detection engine. Such a check will in most cases fail to detect the spyware, however it may damage incriminating evidence. If the spyware is removed, you may be unable to file a complaint or present evidence in a court case.
Signs of Spyware Infection
There are several signs which might be indicative of bugging on your phone: these include a request from another person to use the device, even if only for a few minutes, unusually shortened battery life, freezes, dropped calls, automatic activation of the device, sometimes even without any kind of sound, or other unexplained behavior.
At the same time it must be pointed out that the more recent releases of SpyPhone and other spyware have dealt with most of the malfunctions which were the hallmarks of their presence, so it is quite possible that data breaches will not involve any technical phenomena whatsoever on a mobile device.
The operator of spyware can:
- Record incoming and outgoing calls.
- View messages on media channels such as emails, Facebook, WhatsApp, SMS etc.
- Pinpoint your location at any given time (cellular geolocation via GPS).
- Activate the phone camera and photograph whatever is happening.
- Remotely activate the device’s microphone and listen in on what is happening in a room, even without an active call being in progress.
- Access data stored on the device.
- Delete specific data and even reset/format the phone to the factory default settings.
It is important that you be careful so as not to arouse the perpetrator’s suspicion – continue to use the phone as usual until our inspection. Do not mention anything on or near the phone, which might indicate you have suspicions.
We can not only run a comprehensive test to locate bugging or data breach, we can also help identify the perpetrators and find the evidence which will help in locating them.
Protect your device against bugging and spywares:
- Keep a close eye on your cellular device
- Lock the device with a complex password
- Do not log into public Wi-Fi networks
- Do not click links from SMS’s, WhatsApp messages etc.
- Do not open links or emails from an unidentified source
- Stay alert & stay safe – pay attention to information leaks
For further reading on bugging and eavesdropping (at home, in the office and on computer systems), go to our portal, which deals in detail with eavesdropping and espionage.
- What is SpyPhone?
SpyPhone is the name of a cellular spying and bugging software. It operates on mobile phones. Since this software has been relatively successful, its name has become generic – it is used to describe any spying software. There are countless monitoring and spying software applications besides that one, all used for listening in on mobile phones: mobile spy, WhatsApp spy, m-spy, AndroidSpy, Flexi Spy, MobiStealth , Ear Spy and others.
The purpose and method of operation of most of them is identical.
- Can spyware be installed on iPhone and Android?
Certainly. No device is completely immune from spyware and neither is there an application which, if installed on the device, will provide it with absolutely-assured protection against data breach. Just as hackers hack into organizations after these have invested heavily in information security, they can also hack into your mobile device. This being said, it is still possible to make this difficult to do. The first thing that must be done is to raise awareness of the existence of these spywares, to the various methods for installing them unbeknownst to the user, etc.
- Is it legal to install monitoring and spying software?
The information provided in response to this question is general – it should not be considered to be a substitute for individual, professional legal advice for each and every case. The law on this varies from one country to another and this list cannot replace professional legal advice in the countries relevant to you.
It is legal to install monitoring, bugging and spyware in certain countries, provided the installation is done:
By the device’s owner for self-use for curiosity or research purposes.
By the device’s owner, if he is giving it one of his children, if the child is a minor. These programs are usually called “parental control”.
By the device’s owner, who has been appointed as guardian of an individual, and who is giving it to his ward for use by the ward.
By the device’s owner, who is giving it to an employee, who has been notified in advance, in the employment agreement, that all of the information from the device is under constant surveillance.
Avoid installing spyware until you have received legal advice from a lawyer specializing in the laws of the relevant country.
- What information can a spyware installer see?
There are many kinds of mobile spyware. Some focus on obtaining highly specific information like WhatsApp messages or geographic locations (cellular location). Others enable complete control over the information on the device: they enable deleting items from the device and even a complete reformatting. Some types of spyware also enable turning on the device’s microphone and/or the camera and documenting everything happening around it. In other words, eavesdropping and photographing all of the conversations taking place near the mobile device.
- Can spyware be installed without physically accessing my mobile?
It must be noted that there are professionals in this field, who know how to gain physical access to a device without you being able to notice, but in any case, physical access to the device is not a must for installing spyware. There are many ways to do this remotely. Therefore, even if your device is in your possession at all times, and even if it is protected and up-to-date, it is still definitely possible to hack into your mobile device.